BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. (NEWS10) — On Thursday, a Malta man was sentenced to three years of probationary service after pleading guilty to playing a role in the July 4 boating death of 20-year-old Ian Gerber on Saratoga Lake. Twenty-year-old Blake Heflin pleaded guilty to third-degree assault and boating while intoxicated. Both counts are misdemeanors.

Police say Gerber jumped off the pontoon boat that Heflin was operating. Gerber then died from the injuries he sustained after being hit by the pontoon boat and a second boat.

“It’s never an easy thing when there is a young man whose life has been lost. So, this is an emotional experience for everybody, my client, and for no one more than that family,” said Heflin’s attorney, Matt Chauvin from Ianniello Anderson.

In the courtroom on Thursday, Heflin had his attorney speak about his remorse. Cameras were not allowed to roll during impact statements, but Heflin held back tears when Ian’s mom spoke. The defendant’s mother says nothing will bring back her son. She went on to say, blaming her son’s friend, Heflin, won’t change anything, and forgives him. She hopes it’s a lesson learned. She said she knew Heflin didn’t mean to cause harm to her son.

“That was probably the most moving victim impact statement in a very positive way that I have ever heard,” Chauvin said.

The Saratoga District Attorney’s Office says justice was served. “There’s not an equation that says a sentence equals the harm that was done,” said Saratoga County District Attorney Karen Heggin. “But today, Blake Heflin was held accountable and responsible for his actions that resulted in Ian Gerber’s death.”

Heflin’s boating license was also revoked for at least one year. Originally, Heflin was charged with criminally negligent homicide, a felony, back in September.